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Reply to "STUPID CAR !"

In my "spare time" of which I don't seem to have as much lately, I teach new drivers in our volunteer departments the specifics of ambulance and fire apparatus response. I don't know whether, technically, our rules are part of the traffic code in New York, or in other states, but our policy is as  follows:  Every lane of intersecting traffic is to be considered a separate intersection. That means that approaching an intersection with multiple lanes going across, the driver is obligated to stop and look both directions, before crossing the next lane.  A railroad track, whether signaled or dark, is considered a crossing lane, and the driver is supposed to stop, or at least slow the F down considerably, before crossing the tracks.

"The siren was too loud" is not a valid excuse. If the fire engine was responding to an area that had un-signaled RR crossings, we may infer that it was a rural area, where use of the siren was <possibly> not a necessity.  We get lots of well-meaning volunteers who think that the siren is a weapon or force field that will push opposing vehicles out of the way.  They have been watching too many TV shows. We are obligated to sound the siren at intersections, but not to sound them constantly.  We are also obligated, by state law, to stop at every stop sign along the way. (Sometimes we actually do that.)

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